Compression stockings are a special kind of hose designed to treat or prevent various disorders involving the veins, such as edema or thrombosis. As the name suggests, they compress the leg and thus reduce the diameter of enlarged or distended veins. They also increase valve effectiveness and blood flow.
Compression stockings are made with stronger elastics than conventional or athletic stockings. The stronger elastics increase pressure around the legs.
Types of Compression Stockings
There are two main types of medical compression stockings: anti-embolism and gradient. Anti-embolism stockings are also sometimes called thromboembolism deterrent (TED) hose. They are designed for non-ambulatory patients who have deep vein thrombosis and are therefore susceptible to blood clots.
As a patient lies in bed, the blood collects in their calves, and that increases the risk of blood clots. TED hose puts a lot of pressure on the calves and keeps the blood from collecting there. TED hose can be worn for up to three weeks at a time.
Gradient compression stockings are generally designed for patients who can still walk. They treat people with weak or leaky valves in their veins, and the elastic is strongest around the patient’s ankles.
Gradient compression stockings are worn by people with conditions like varicose veins or lymphedema. They can be worn for six months or longer.
Compression stockings are also sometimes worn by athletes. They increase lymph and blood flow and can thus improve an athlete’s performance. Regardless of type, compression stockings come in different lengths, strengths and colors.
How to Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings should be worn all day and then taken off before going to bed. It’s best to put them on first thing before getting out of bed, as the legs are at their least swollen in the early morning.
The best way to put the stocking on is to roll it down to the heel and then insert the foot, making sure that the heel goes into the heel of the stocking. The patient then unrolls the stocking up over their leg and pulls it into place.
It’s important to not let the stocking bunch or wrinkle. If the stockings are knee-length, their tops should be about an inch below the knee bend.
Caring for Compression Stockings
Compression stockings should be washed after every wearing. The patient should wash them in water and mild soap and then let them air dry. The patient should have at least two pairs, so they can wear one pair and wash the other.
The elastic in compression stockings will eventually wear out and lose its strength. Compression stockings should, therefore, be replaced every three to six months.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Located in Delta, British Columbia, Delta Laser and Skin Care Centre offers a variety of compression stockings to help treat or prevent your leg veins.
Contact our office today to schedule your appointment and see what compression stockings can do for you.